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  3. Department of Zoology
  4. Research
  5. Ethology


In the Ethology division we study animal behavior mainly based on Tinbergen’s four questions. This means we are interested in i) the function and fitness effects of variation in behavior, ii) the developmental background to variation in behavior, iii) the mechanisms behind variation in behavior and iv) the phylogenetic patterns of variation in behavior. For this, we use an array of techniques spanning across field observations, lab experiments and phylogenetic comparative analyses to study behavior in different taxa.

Foraging decisions

Animal personality

Fish brain. Photo: Alex Kotraschal.

Brain evolution

Willow warbler. Photo: Johanna Hedlund.

Climate Change and Behaviour

Collective Behaviour


Adaptive colouration


Dogfish shark

Sexual Selection

Photo: Christina Hansen Wheat, Stockholm University.

Social Behaviour

Our latest publications

Olof Leimar, Sasha R. X. Dall, John M. McNamara, Bram Kuijper, Peter Hammerstein. 2019. Ecological Genetic Conflict - Genetic Architecture Can Shift the Balance between Local Adaptation and Plasticity. American Naturalist 193: 70-80.

Graeme Fox, Iulia Darolti, Jean-Denis Hibbitt, Richard F. Preziosi, John L. Fitzpatrick, Jennifer K. Rowntree. 2018. Bespoke markers for ex-situ conservation - application, analysis and challenges in the assessment of a population of endangered undulate rays. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 6: 50-56.

Christina Hansen Wheat, John Fitzpatrick, Ingrid Tapper, Hans Temrin. 2018. Wolf (Canis lupus) Hybrids Highlight the Importance of Human-Directed Play Behavior During Domestication of Dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of comparative psychology (1983) 132: 373-381.

Alison E. Wright, Matteo Fumagalli, Christopher R. Cooney, Natasha Bloch, Filipe G. Vieira, Severine D. Buechel, Niclas Kolm, Judith E. Mank. 2018. Male-biased gene expression resolves sexual conflict through the evolution of sex-specific genetic architecture. Evolution Letters 2: 52-61.

Natasha Bloch, Alberto Corral-López, Severine D. Buechel, Alexander Kotrschal, Niclas Kolm, Judith E. Mank. 2018. Early neurogenomic response associated with variation in guppy female mate preference. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1772-1781.

Robin N. Abbey-Lee, Emily J. Uhrig, Josefina Zidar, Anna Favati, Johan Almberg, Josefin Dahlbom, Svante Winberg, Hanne Løvlie. 2018. The Influence of Rearing on Behavior, Brain Monoamines, and Gene Expression in Three-Spined Sticklebacks. Brain, behavior, and evolution 91: 201-213.


Head of division: Niclas Kolm

Staff: Ethology

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